Portuguese Codfish Cakes
Bacalhau- Dried Codfish
The main dish for Christmas dinner for most Portuguese is bacalhau (dried, salted cod). This tradition is a remnant of the Middle Ages when Portuguese Christians would abstain from meat for Christmas Eve to purify the body and soul.
This recipe is an easy way to prepare codfish as an appetizer or main dish. However, a traditional Portuguese recipe would use bacalhau instead. Since bacalhau is dried and salted, it takes quite a bit of preparation for use in recipes such as this one. The preparation process typically requires soaking and rinsing multiple times, or boiling and draining multiple times to remove the excess salt.
Portuguese Cod Fish Balls/Cakes
4 cups of mashed potatoes (potatoes only, no added milk or butter), chilled 2 lbs. of cod filet 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley 1/2 cup of minced onion 2 eggs, lightly beaten Flour to roll balls in, lightly Oil for deep frying
Steam the cod until it is flaky by putting pieces of it into a steamer basket in a pot. When it is cooked, put it in a large bowl and flake the meat. Place in the fridge to chill.
When the fish has cooled, add the potatoes, parsley, minced onions and eggs to the bowl and mix thoroughly. The mixture can be refrigerated until you are ready to prepare them.
Roll the mixture into approximately 2-inch balls. Put some flour onto a plate. Lightly roll each ball into the flour.
Heat the oil (about 2") in a heavy pot. When it is hot (check with a little piece of the mixture and see if it sizzles) put a few of the balls in. Fry in batches to prevent overcrowding.
Roll the balls around with a spoon while they fry to ensure that they brown on all sides. When they are golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon. Place the balls on paper towels to drain. Enjoy!